Summary: This message challenges the doctrine, the belief, that God is responsible for birth defects. It also examines the question "Do children come from God?"
I have three children. At each of their births, my wife did what mothers tend to do – she held their hands and feet and gently rubbed them. I now know what she was doing. She was counting fingers and toes. And we always thanked God that He blessed us with healthy, normal children.
A few years ago I began questioning the teaching that God gives us children after listening to a message by a gifted teacher named Dave Roberson that is part of his “Born Again Trail” series. His teaching came to mind at an event my wife and I attended where we saw people with autism, mental retardation, blindness, lack of motor skills and speech difficulties.
While we thanked God for healthy and normal children, these parents couldn’t. And I’ve heard parents who have children with disabilities say things like “God made my child this way” or “God gave me a child who needed extra love”. Is this true? Are birth defects of God?
Why is this an important question?
If we believe birth defects are God’s doing, it can cause us to question God’s goodness. I’m sure parents with a disabled child have asked “Why did God give my child ______?” Or, “Why did God choose my son or my daughter to have _____?” Fill in the blank.
It teaches us that God makes us the way we are. For example, how we look – the length of our hair, whether we’re tall or short, wide or thin, a girl or boy – God is responsible.
How many times have we heard someone say that so-and-so has “God given talent”? If this is true, then God is deciding who will be a mathematical genius or a musical prodigy. Now listen to me, if this is true, then God is deciding who will be a rapist, murderer or child molester.
It teaches us that God has His reasons for doing what He does and we may never understand them. From my reading over the years, this is the reason people choose atheism.
It also teaches us that God’s stamp of approval is upon everything that happens in life. He’s in control. No matter what we do, God has already made the decision for us.
The question also keeps the devil off of the radar screen. Have you ever heard a person say “The devil made me this way” or “The devil made my son mentally retarded”? I haven’t.
Now let’s be clear: I am not saying Satan is responsible for birth defects. I’m simply stating the obvious: we never say Satan is involved but we always say God is involved. Is this not true?
Are birth defects of God?
• If the answer is “yes” we’re saying God is responsible for human reproduction. We’re saying God determines whether or not we will have children.
• If the answer is “yes” perhaps we don’t truly understand the impact of Adam’s disobedience in Genesis 3. It changed the molecular structure of creation.
• If the answer is “yes” could it be we don’t know how God operates or understand the connection between His will and what Jesus did here on earth?
We must answer this question first: “Do children come from God?”
Let’s begin our search for the answer in Romans 5.
(12) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
(19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Because of Adam, we were born with a sin nature. Because of Adam, we were born spiritually dead. Because of Adam, we were born the exact opposite of God.
Turn to Genesis 1. We’re answering the question “Do children come from God?”
(27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
(28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, [“I’m going to help you be fruitful and multiply.” No. God tells the husband and wife to] Be fruitful, and multiply, and [“I will help you replenish the earth.” Again, no. God tells the husband and wife to] replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
If we would simply read what scripture says, if we would simply believe what we read, our lives would begin to resemble Jesus’ life more and more.
Now let’s go to verse 21.
And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.